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land use and remote sensing

land use and remote sensing

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This paper may be cited as follows: Das, P. and Joshi, S. 2011. Land-use change detection (1988-1999) using NDVI in Barak Valley, Assam. Assam University Journal of Science & Technology: Biological and Environmental Sciences 8(1): 84-89

   

Land-use change detection (1988-1999) using NDVI in Barak Valley, Assam
Pulak Das1* & Santosh Joshi2
1 2

*Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Pin-788011 Lichenology Laboratory, Plant Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
This paper may be cited as follows: Das, P. and Joshi, S. 2011. Land-use change detection (1988-1999) using NDVI in Barak Valley, Assam. Assam University Journal of Science & Technology: Biological and Environmental Sciences 8(1): 84-89

   

Land-use change detection (1988-1999) using NDVI in Barak Valley, Assam
Pulak Das1* & Santosh Joshi2
1 2

*Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Pin-788011 Lichenology Laboratory, Plant Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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Published by: shonapinki on Sep 07, 2011
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This paper may be cited as follows:
Das, P. and Joshi, S. 2011. Land-use change detection (1988-1999) using NDVI in BarakValley, Assam. Assam University Journal of Science & Technology: Biological andEnvironmental Sciences 8(1): 84-89
 
 
Land-use change detection (1988-1999) using NDVI in Barak Valley, Assam
 Pulak Das
1
* & Santosh Joshi
 2
 
1
*
Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Pin-788011
2
Lichenology Laboratory, Plant Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Division, National BotanicalResearch Institute, CSIR, Lucknow (UP)–226001, INDIA
Corresponding authors email id:
 pulakdas.ecology@gmail.com
 Abstract
 In the present study land-use change between 1988 and 1999 is studied for Barak valley region usingremote sensing technique. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) applying red and near infrared bands of landsat images (5 & 7) is used to classify the region into three categories; non forest areas(NDVI: -1 to 0.15), moderate forest cover (NDVI: 0.15 to 0.45), and dense forest cover (NDVI: 0.45 to 1).The result indicates marked difference in land use pattern between 1988 and 1999 in the region. The non forest cover which was 437.34 km
2
(6.29% of the total geographical area) in 1988 increased to 1831 km
2
 (26.35% of the total geographical area) in 1999.On the other hand the dense forest area which was4452.16 km
2
(64.07 % of the total geographical area) in 1988 decreased to 2413.87 km
2
(34.74 % of thetotal geographical area) in 1999. The moderate forest cover also showed its increase from 2058.91 km
2
in1988 to 2703.43 km
2
in 1999.It is observed that a large area of moderate forests in 1988 has converted into non forest areas in 1999. Similarly the dense forest shows fragmentation and conversion intomoderate forest between 1988 and 1999. Increase in population and related anthropogenic activities ismounting continuous pressure on the forest resource of this region, threatening overall biodiversity and local climate pattern.
Key words:
Forest loss, Land-use change, Population, Remote sensing
Introduction
Satellite images can capture a synoptic view of alarge part of earth’s surface and can acquirerepeated measurement of same area on a regular  basis. Satellite remote sensing is an importantsource of data for studying the dynamics of earth’s surface. Remote sensing has been used asa tool for mapping land cover since sources of data became readily available in the 1970s.Remote sensing can provide an effective tool for measuring different forms of land-use changesincluding deforestation in different areas on theearth. Spectral, temporal, and texturaldifferences in satellite images allow users todistinguish among broad classes of vegetation.The normalized difference vegetation index(NDVI), a proxy for photosynthetic activity, iscommonly used for assessing landscapecharacteristics. It can be derived from readilyavailable data (for example Landsat). NDVI is proportional to the fraction of  photosynthetically-active radiation that isintercepted by green tissue (Myneni et al. 1995).It correlates with absorbed photosyntheticallyactive radiation (APAR) estimating theaboveground net primary productivity (Jobbágyet al. 2002; Paruelo and Lauenroth 1998). It can be used to detect land cover changes (Fung andSiu 2000) and as an indicator of both landscapeheterogeneity and biological diversity, making it possible to identify priority conservation areas(Gould 2000) and predict habitat suitability for species.The northeast India comprising of ArunachalPradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya,Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim is
 
 
situated at the confluence of three biogeographical realms; Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese, and Indian. The region along withBhutan, southern China, and Myanmar is one of the global biodiversity centre known as IndoBurma biodiversity Hotspot (Myers 2000). Thenortheast region is important with respect to itsdiverse biota and high endemism owing todifferent habitat types suitable for differentfloral and faunal species. Barak valley consistingof three districts of Cachar, Karimganj, andHailakandi is situated in southern part of Assam.It is the second largest valley system innortheastern region after Brahmaputra valley.The region covering a geographical area of 6948.41 km
2
has eight physiographic divisions;i) High hill region, ii) Dissected foot hill region,iii) Low hill region, iv) Undulating plain, v)Detraital Valley, vi) Broad meander plain, vii)Flood plain, and viii) Low lying area(Bhowmick et al. 1999).Barak valley consists of swampy flats broken by numerous isolated hillsof low ranges. The flat grounds are occupied byclayey alluvium and marked with depressions of varying sizes commonly known as ‘
beels
’ and
haors
’. There are 16 reserved forests in thisregion under Hailakandi division (2), Karimganjdivision (7), and Cachar division (7); namely i)Innerline R. F., ii) Katakhal R. F., iii)Badshaitilla R. F., iv) Duhalia R. F., v) LongaiR. F., vi) Patharia R. F., vii) Singla R. F., viii)Tilbhum R. F., ix) N. C. Hills R. F., x) Borak R.F., xi) Innerline R. F., xii) Katakhal (Pt.) R. F.,xiii) Lower Jiri R. F., xiv) Sonai R. F., xv)Upper Jiri R. F., and xvi) Borail R. F.Theregion has an average altitude of 27-40 m abovemean sea level and falls between 24°8
N and25°8
N latitude and 92°15
E and 93°15
ELongitude. Cachar is the largest district followed by Karimganj and Hailakandi. The valley isflanked by Southern belt of Barail range with anaverage width of 9-11 km and its eastern part istraversed by Bhuban range, a continuation of Lusai hills. The region had been endowed withrich forests which can be predicted by the recordof wild animals which were present here andsome of which are still found in the area.To manage our forest resources in an effectivemanner it is important to first know how muchresource we possess and understand the forestdynamics with respect to its degradation rate.The rate of forest degradation or forest loss can be estimated with the help of temporal studies. Acontinuous monitoring with the help of modernremote sensing techniques is of utmostimportance. In the present study an attempt has been made to evaluate the changes in forestcover of the region within an eleven year period between 1988 and 1999. Remote sensingLandsat imageries are used for this purpose. NDVI value ranges between (-) 1 to (+) 1 andhas been found to be effective worldwide todetect vegetation changes (Guo et al. 1999;Sobrino and Raissouni 2000). 
Materials and methods
The site selected for the study is Barak valley(Figure 1) which has subtropical, warm, andhumid climate. The heavy rainfall in the regionis due to south-west monsoonal spells whichoperates comparatively for longer period innorth east India. The monsoon period runs between June and October with short pre-monsoon period between March and April. Thesummer temperature remains between 25 and40°C. The humidity remains high throughout theyear. The satellite imageries of the region aretaken for the year 1988 and 1999 for the monthsof November and December respectively. Toavoid seasonal differences of green cover due todifferent weather conditions, cloud free imagesduring post monsoon months of November andDecember is selected. The region lies in a singlescene of Path 136 and Row 43 (Table 1). TheBands 3 (Red) and 4 (NIR) are used for calculation of NDVI. The software IDRISI(Version-Taiga) was used for the image processing. The required scene is selected withthe help of geo-referenced Barak valley shapefile within WRS Path and Row grid. The ratio of subtraction and addition of near infra red (NIR)and red bands is calculated and NDVI map is produced. The Barak valley region is thenmasked out from the NDVI map of entire scene.These steps are repeated for the images of bothyears.The NDVI, often referred to as thegreenness index, is derived from a ratio of NIR and RED bands via the algorithm: NDVI = (NIR-RED)/ (NIR+RED)

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